Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just a Little Mommy

Elaine has been playing “mommy” a lot over the last few days.  I don’t know what happened, or “clicked”, but she has been neglecting her best friend Bunny in lieu of playing mommy to her baby doll Betsy.  Betsy literally goes everywhere with Elaine!

Maybe it was because she “grew up” over the weekend.  You see, last Thursday (May 19th), Elaine lost her pacifier.  We couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was the last remaining paci, and I had already committed to not replacing it if were to be lost.  Ben has been wanting Elaine to give up her paci for a while, but we were going to wait until after the transition with the new baby.  And though we did find the paci on Sunday, we opted to not give it back.  (Sunday was a monumental day here – Elaine went to church with no paci and no Bunny – a first for her!)

Now that Elaine is a “big girl” she has been quite the mommy to her baby doll.  Betsy is wearing her third outfit from the newborn box…because Elaine keeps sharing her milk cup with Betsy.  I have walked into the room several times to find Betsy “drinking” from Elaine’s cup while her clothes are soaked!  I quickly solved this problem (or so I thought) by giving Elaine a baby bottle for Betsy.  Not to be deterred, Elaine let me know that she wanted water in it for Betsy to drink!

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I have also cleaned up several piles of Cheerios or cookie crumbs that were carefully placed in Betsy’s mouth, but of course they were never consumed!

When I go into Elaine’s room in the morning, I am almost always greeted with some accessory of Betsy’s that needs put back on.  When I change Elaine’s diaper she wants a wet wipe to clean Betsy’s face with.  And, of course, Betsy also gets stories read to her by Elaine.

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Lucky Betsy also gets walks in the new baby doll carriage.  Caitlyn from church has outgrown her baby doll buggy, and she was kind enough to ask if Elaine would like it.  It is the first thing Elaine goes for in the morning!  But watch out – she is a crazy driver like the Godby side of her family!

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Elaine brings quite the entourage to the table for meals now.  Betsy, a swaddling blanket, a bottle, and sometimes Bunny is even remembered!

It’s fun to watch Elaine do things to her baby doll that she has seen me to do her.  And maybe, just maybe, it will help with the transition when baby brother or sister arrives!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ta-Da!

Today I finally went and bought the wallpaper glue I needed, dug out the Wallies cut-outs, and set to finishing the wall décor in the baby’s room.  I’m so happy to have some color in there!  The green wall now sports a Beatrix Potter “border” mid-way up the wall.  I have rearranged the room, pulled out the baby gear, and cleaned everything.  Now Baby Hamilton can arrive anytime!  (Well…after June 6th would be best so that I can attend Kenny & Becky’s wedding!)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe angle makes my border look crooked, but I assure you it is not!

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These are part of my Beatrix Potter theme – the beanie babies were a gift for Elaine’s birth, and I made the wall quilt with a fabric remnant I found on Ebay.

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Just a glimpse of the rest of the room.  For those of you who don’t know, Ben made the crib.  It is definitely a unique, heirloom type piece.  I helped with the sanding (which me grateful that I am not a wood-worker by trade!)

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While it is nothing special, and certainly not professional, I feel a little surge of pride in the completion of this project.  I painted for the first time.  I measured the wall and marked off my border with only minor “assistance” from Elaine.  Never having done wallpaper or any wall décor, I finished it “all by myself.”  I still want to stitch a basic valance for the window, but Mom is bringing the fabric to the wedding, so I can’t work on it yet.

First Pedicure

Last night Elaine got her first pedicure.  It started last week when she wanted her toes painted like Mommy.  Then I read a review of Piggy Paint on the So Easy Being Green Blog.  It is a non-toxic nail polish that is safe for little ones, but fast drying and non-peeling for adults as well.  I found a bottle on sale with free shipping, and ordered it.

Yesterday we set about removing the old nail polish, trimming Elaine’s nails, and trying out our Piggy Paint.  I got a new coat of polish on my toes too!  I loved that the Piggy Paint doesn’t have the fumes of normal nail polish.

Elaine's First Pedicure

Elaine's First Pedicure

Elaine's First PedicureElaine got a new diaper too!  This is the Eiffel Tower print from bumGenius! diapers.  It reminds me of my best friend Danielle (who shares her middle name with Elaine).

After Elaine’s toes were completed, she set about cleaning Ben’s feet with the cotton balls and nail polish remover.  What a hoot!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May’s Completed “Nesting” Projects

May is Project “Projects” at I Heart Organizing.  I didn’t really have any large projects on the list, but there are a couple of things that I wanted to finish before the baby arrives next month.  I happened to get to all three of them last week!

First, I have been wanting to re-do my recipe book for a while now.  I “scheduled” it as my February project, but still never got it done.  I discovered that recipe cards don’t work great for me, and they’re hard to keep track of.  I liked my binder with page protectors, but it was in poor shape.  The page protectors make it easy to wipe off if I splatter on the recipe when cooking.  I print a lot of recipes online, and so I had lots of full size sheets of paper floating around.

First I designed some divider sheets and a cover page.  I found page protectors with tab dividers at Office Max – perfect for what I needed!  I divided my recipes into 8 categories, then started organizing.

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I typed in the recipes that I use a lot, but which had been floating around on scratch paper.  I re-formatted my already typed recipes from 4x6 cards to full sheets of paper, and combined recipes to fill a page when possible. 

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I added a couple of pockets in the front for “Recipes to Try” and “Take-Out Menus” (in case something flops).  It is so much better, and I’m glad to have it done!

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Baby Clothes LabelsMy second project was labeling the under-bed and under-crib storage bins where we keep seasonal clothing.  It all started when I decided to pull out the newborn clothes.  My boxes needed organization badly, especially since I would throw things in the boxes and close them up as quickly as possible to keep Elaine from playing with the contents! 

(And just so you know…I chose to lay out the boy newborn clothing.  We’ll see if I’m right in about six and a half weeks!)

Here are the finished baby labels.  I used a Beatrix Potter background to keep the theme in the nursery.  I didn’t take pictures of the other labels, but they are soooo much better than my handwritten notes in Sharpie marker.

Baby Clothes Labels

Baby Clothes Labels

The third project also involved the baby’s room – a splash of color on the walls.  Elaine and the baby will share the teeny tiny second bedroom, which also houses much of our cloth diaper inventory for Doable Diapers.  I never painted Elaine’s nursery in Virginia Beach because I knew we were moving.  I really wanted to paint one wall in the nursery a pale green.  I already had permission from the landlord, so now I just needed to do it! 

On Mother’s Day we made a trip to Lowe’s and picked out paint and supplies, and Ben went at it.  I finished the second coat the next day.  Dad should be proud of me – I didn’t spill the paint or get any in the carpet!  Considering it was the first paint project for both Ben and I, I am very pleased with the results!  I have some Peter Rabbit Wallies to stick up as a border at the halfway mark on the wall.  I just need to finish putting them up!

Painting the Nursery

Newly Painted Nursery in Bay Ridge

The finished wall – awaiting a border about halfway up the wall.  I’ll take more pictures when the room is finished.  It’s in disarray right now, because everything is crammed in there.  The cradle will be in the master bedroom (at least for the first couple of months) and that will alleviate some of the traffic jam.  Then we can better decide how to arrange everything!

Shanaynay

Last week my old college roomie and buddy came to visit us for the day! Her name is Shannon, but in our “group” she was always Shanaynay and I was Angelina.  (It’s a long story).

Shannon finally arrived (she took a couple of detours through Manhattan and Staten Island.  Detours are okay, but they are expensive in NYC if a bridge is involved!).  Shannon, Elaine, and I took the subway to meet Ben for lunch in Manhattan.  He is working on the outside of a building in the historic SoHo district (and right next door to the filming location of Men in Black III…lots of interesting things to see!).  His lunch break isn’t long, so it was a fast “date.”  Then the girls took a stroll through China Town.  We stopped at Starbucks for half-price Frappuccino's, and then stopped at 86th Street in Brooklyn for some more shopping.

We finished the day off right with Brooklyn Pizza.  We had a good time visiting, and Elaine loved the attention (and presents) that Shannon gave her!  Shannon even managed to get home without getting lost!  We’ll see her again soon at Kenny’s wedding…as long as the baby isn’t three weeks early!

The highlights of our girl time, in pictures:

Shannon Visits NYC
“I’m a bad mommy” confession… it has become a tradition to get Elaine a cup of whipped cream whenever I get a Starbucks treat.  Don’t worry – she doesn’t get a WHOLE cup, but it keeps her busy and out of my coffee!

Shannon Visits NYC

Shannon Visits NYC
Explanation:  It’s hard to see, but Elaine wanted her toes painted like Mommy.  So I painted them.  She had “pretty toes” all day, and kept touching them!  I love having a girly-girl!

Shannon Visits NYC
Shannon made a Wal-Mart run for us (since we don’t have one very close by).  Elaine loved all of the new sippy cups and pajamas!

Shannon Visits NYC

Shannon Visits NYC
Shannon and Elaine
This pose couldn’t be more perfect – it’s just like them!  And yes, Elaine was enjoying the use of Shannon’s Smart Phone.  She won’t be getting her own for a LONG time, though!

Shannon Visits NYC
Love those smiles!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday–18 months of Mommy-hood

Today marks 18 months since Elaine joined our family on November 5, 2009.  Sometimes it feels like she has been part of the family forever, and other times I think, “Has it really been that long?”  I think that this is a challenging age – she is so much fun, but so strong-willed at the same time! Here are some of the fun things about Elaine right now…

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She is finally starting to talk…sort of!  Daddy doesn’t get it quite as well, but when you’re with her 24/7, you can start to understand her noises and what she means by them.  Current words are “dah” for dog, “mo” for more, and “ca” can mean car, cat, or cup…whatever is around at the moment.  She also has “no” down pretty pat, and nods her head for “yes.”  She also utilizes a lot of pointing and taking me to what she wants in order to get her point across.  We are still working on “please.”

Elaine is definitely very aware of anything “dog” around her.  She will not get close to them – I think it’s because both sets of grandparents have a dog that barks.  But if she sees one on the street, hears one through the window, finds a picture in her book, or even the screen printed dog on her pajamas, she gets very excited and pulls out her “dah” word.

Elaine washing dishes with mommyElaine loves to be just like me, and that is something that I really love too!  If I am washing dishes, she wants to help.  If I am hanging laundry, she tries very hard to make the clothespins work so she can help.  If I am dusting, she gets a duster and is assigned the lower shelves (though I have to do them myself when she’s not looking).  If I’m reading my Bible, she wants to read too.  If I’m practicing the piano, she wants to sit on the bench with a music book also.  Having a toddler makes you very conscious of everything that you do, because there is always someone watching!Elaine with clothespins in hair

We like to go outside and get a break from the apartment.  The weather has been very cooperative lately.  Even if it’s just a walk down the block to the corner market, Elaine loves it.  Our indicator that we are going outside is “go get your shoes and coat.”  She used to go and find a pair of her shoes.  Now she brings me a pair of my shoes from my closet first. 

Elaine and DaddyPlaytime with Daddy is a special and fun time for Elaine.  He makes noises and can move a little faster than Mommy can these days!  Elaine loves to play peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and chase Daddy.  They usually end up rolling on the floor.  I love to watch it.

Some funny moments from recent times include:

  • Elaine thinks I take too long in the shower.  Inevitably the curtain will suddenly open and she is waiting with my towel in hand.  A couple of times she has just chucked it into the tub to be soaked if I don’t catch it in time.
  • Elaine likes to try and drink the milk out of her cereal bowl once the cereal is gone.  One time she missed…it was all over her PJs and the chair and the floor.  Elaine’s comment on the situation?  “Uh-oh.”Elaine and Mommy
  • Elaine has a pretty good sized library for a little girl.  But what are her favorite books?  The three I bought in the dollar bin at Target when I was convinced she was a boy – Emergency Vehicles, Farm Equipment, and Cars & Trucks.  Ben reads them with sound effects, and when Elaine reads them to herself she tries to make the sounds too.
  • Elaine is fascinated with bubbles – whether in the bathtub or the kitchen sink.  When she “helps” me wash dishes, I feel l say one of these every two seconds: “Don’t drink the water,” Don’t eat the bubbles,” or “Don’t put the rag in your mouth.”
  • Grandma Godby sent Elaine the Noah’s Ark for bath time.  This particular toy is made by Tupperware, and it was around when Kenny, Wes, and I were kids.  Noah and his wife have hollow, round bodies.  Elaine uses them as cups to get a drink during bath time.  (We do try to discourage it…).  She also “drives” the boat around the bathtub making engine noises…Daddy taught her that!
  • One time when we were working in the kitchen, Elaine discovered the microwave.  She took a pear from the fruit bowl on top, took a bite, and then put it in the microwave.  I discovered it the next day when I went to heat my coffee…there was the pear, along with one of her toys.Elaine discovers the microwave

That’s my Elaine…18 months old.  So glad that God gave you to me, Little Girl!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Last week, my neighbor’s daughter Hannah was on Spring Break from school.  Friday was a gorgeous day, and a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens was planned.  Elaine and I were invited to go along!

It is Cherry Blossom Festival right now.  I must admit, after seeing the cherry trees in full bloom in Washington, D.C., I was slightly unimpressed by the cherry trees at the garden.  The tulips, however were delightfully arrayed in bright, beautiful colors, and even Elaine enjoyed the “pretty flowers.”

There was also a section of lilac bushes.  Though they were not completely blooming, the fragrance was overwhelming…and it is one of my favorites!

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{cherry blossom by the lake}

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{lilac blooms}

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{the most amazing orange tulips I have ever seen}

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{don’t pick the flowers…but Mommy it’s so hard to resist}

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{the best picture we could get together}

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{sitting pretty…but not looking at Mommy}

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{she loves to dangle her feet}

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{never seen “pointy” tulips like this before

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{only fish are allowed to swim in the pond…not little girls}